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Monday, May 22, 2017

What about these DNC leaks?

[VIDEO] The above clip aired on FOX News earlier this month. It's very funny how we're still talking about the election. A huge swath of this nation - including Hillary Clinton herself - are still wondering how they lost the Presidency it was supposed to be a sure thing.

In light of the 2016 presidential results we hear a lot about interference by Russian hackers and now a wrinkle to this theory. A young DNC staffer who had been murdered may have leaked information from the DNC to wikileaks.

I first hear about this last week and posted a quick blurb at E.M. and then wondered: why would someone inside the Democratic Party undermine their party and their nominee for President?

Unfortunately we'll never know the answer to that as Seth Rich was murdered outside of his home in Washington, DC. There are some people are there who claimed they have contact with him before his death and was likely who he sent the information to. And hopefully they'll know why he leaked this information.

One conclusion everyone has come to if they believe this story...the Russians didn't provide this information regarding Mrs. Clinton's e-mails as our former Secretary of State or e-mails from the leadership of the Democratic Party. It was more of an internal operation no foreign influence at all!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017 in the DC Extended Universe

Next month the next film from the DC Comics' Extended Universe will be released - Wonder Woman - starring Gal Gadot. Gal Gadot's rendition of this comic book heroine debuted in 2016's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. You will see a trailer for it below. [VIDEO]


As of now we are three movies into the DC Extended Universe and all of them have made money. Problem is all of them aren't exactly critically acclaimed. Batman v. Superman which is the second installment of this franchise seemed to have gotten the worst treatment from fans.

Personally it was a great Batman movie and surprisingly Ben Affleck did a great job portraying the caped crusader even if the story was lacking. Batman v. Superman is actually supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel - the first installment of this franchise - however this story never seemed to be about Superman. If nothing else it was a response to Superman's arrival, debut on Earth, and essentially after fighting General Zod - a fellow Kryptonian - Batman's response to the man of steel.

Man of Steel wasn't bad itself that film too lacked in story, however, at least it was about the origin of Superman. Metropolis took a serious beating in this film being at the epicenter of an attempt to terraform Earth for the Kryptonians. Regardless the cool part of this movie is that we see how powerful an individual Superman and of course he wasn't always the boy scout we expected him to be. He's still however genuinely good.

The most recently installment was Suicide Squad. Basically a team of supervillians under the employ of the villainous Amanda Waller to be an expendable team of bad guys doing the right thing. In this one Harley Quinn joins the mainstream DC universe - she previously was a character of the Batman animated series from the 1990s. And we have a new Joker even if he wasn't part of the Suicide Squad.

As far as opening weekends the DC movies have done well unfortunately not enough for people to want to watch the movies beyond that. Especially if word of mouth goes around that many believe these movies aren't that good.

I'm hoping that the fourth and fifth installment of the extended universe will learn from the shortcomings of the first three installments. Looking forward to Wonder Woman next month and by the holiday season Justice League for which you will also see a trailer below. [VIDEO]


BTW, I've been watching some YouTube videos speculating on the shortcomings of DC movies in some respects many were spot on. In others I sometimes wonder if they're off-base. What do you all think?

I found one article about the top five things they like about the DC movies.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

VIDEO: The new starship Enterprise design review

[VIDEO] I'm giving you a quick spoiler if you didn't see last year's Star Trek Beyond - the USS Enterprise as we've seen it since 2009s Star Trek had been destroyed. As you see above in the alternate timeline we see another USS Enterprise-A. So as the Star Trek franchise goes into the next 50 - 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the original series having first premiered in 1966 - there is a brand new starship Enterprise casting off in the next cinematic adventure.

In this above video we look at an artists conception of this new Enterprise and then shows what we saw in the STB. Basically a different design than the concept to be honest I hardly noticed, hell I hardly noticed a huge difference when the Enterprise was redesigned at the end of 2013s Star Trek into Darkness. Or admittedly all I noticed was the change in the impulse engines.

Either way this video wonders why they keep changing the basic design of the Enterprise making little tweeks here and there in each of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek film series. It seems to the author of this video gratuitous to make these changes.

Consider that many fans weren't that happy with the redesign of the original Enterprise in 2009, the original 1966 design by Matt Jefferies has never graced the silver screen. To be honest I wanted to see that ship on the silver screen only to see this new take on a TV classic. Whether tweaked or not, this Enterprise maintains the form we expect from Star Trek.

So I'll open the floor to "Trekkies". What do you think of this new Enterprise-A?

Thursday, May 04, 2017

This is not a gun club I want to join...

[VIDEO] This video has done nothing more than inspire me to go to a range in Illinois and take some gun safety lessons. Thus if I ever do a video or photo-op of myself with a gun I will have the satisfaction of know that there is no joking with me and a gun.

 These guys on the other hand well I'm glad that they recognize their constitutional right to bear arms - even if there are those who believe they're only doing this to intimidate. Still it's OK to shoot your guns, but hopefully you record yourself hitting something. Or at least record yourself taking instruction on the use of a firearm.

 And I should note there are those who see that as comedy, I don't. There's nothing amusing about watching people who don't seem to know how to use a gun.

BTW, I feel it's appropriate to share this image found from my old high school - GO FALCONS - a good message for anyone who may be interesting in learning how to shoot a firearm.
While I can focus on shooting a pistol, I'd be very keen on trying an assault rifle for size. Perhaps show my range with a variety of firearms.

Via Instapundit

Sunday, April 30, 2017

My review of #TheCircle

[VIDEO] Lately when I go to the movies most of them are just forgettable entertainment. You go in and be entertained, however, later you simply forget about it. There's nothing really groundbreaking about the movie itself or laugh, feel the adrenaline, etc. and then you leave.

That wasn't the case with The Circle. Now with that said I've seen the reception on its Wiki page and saw that so far there aren't many that like the movie so far. I never pay attention to Rotten Tomatoes and see that this film isn't rated highly.

Why does The Circle touch a nerve with me? It shows the scary effects of social media. Our hero Mae starts to work at this tech company which appears to be a cross between Apple and fb. It offers these small cameras that can be placed anywhere and unseen to the eye. And then there appears to be a social network attached to it.

Mae herself becomes a major show on this social network and likely billions log on to see how she's doing. Unfortunately some sad consequences come of it. Her friend Mercer comes to an unfortunate end as the latest online sensation. It seems the friend - Annie -who brought her to that company doesn't want anything to do with her although they seem to have an uneasy relationship as Mae's star begins to rise.

Mercer's strikes an unfortunate nerve. As Mae begins broadcast her life for her company her fans find out about Mercer's past and refer to him as a deer killer although he defends himself by saying he doesn't kill deer. It becomes a point where he as Mae's friend had to cut ties with her because of her new celebrity.

Unfortunately, later the crowd clamors for Mae to find Mercer - after she herself used the Circle to find a wanted fugitive. They do so and of course a comment about him being a deer killer. After keeping a low-profile and he flees. Without giving away much this is the point in the movie where I take off my ballcap. I was truly disgusted with the movie at that point.

To start we see a form of online shaming in this film. Let's say you find one piece of information about someone - whether that person posted themselves or not - and then it goes viral. Then it literally becomes a form of bullying and outright nastiness. Perhaps it's truthful or perhaps not, however, either way someone believes it and spreads it and for a moment it's like wildflower. Scary thing is, it might be a while before you find out about it.

I like how Mae turned the tables on her bosses at the Circle - Eamon & Tom - who egged on the many activities that led to what happened with Mercer. She got connected with one of the founders of the circle - he has a low profile because we doesn't like what's going on at this company - who helped her turn the tables. And we go back to one thing that they never wanted to give up for themselves - privacy.

They didn't truly want to be transparent, but everyone else should be. Mae's life was saved because she took a kayak got thrown about in high waves and almost drowned. Perhaps there is no right to privacy in a public place but how transparent does one need to be in the world. Beside we all should be embarrassed by something.

It lets me know, now that we live in a world with cell phone video cameras and we can broadcast those images live on Periscope, fb, ig, etc. we have to be more careful. Perhaps we might behave better if we're being watched - and yes that's not always true. At the same time at what point have we gone too far with this activity?

BTW, I never realized that this film was based on a book and see a vastly different story here. I got to find that book now and give it a read. Perhaps it'll tell me more about the story and the issues in real life that are shown.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Reparations

[VIDEO] Last week on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson debated a young woman from Western Kentucky University that supported a student resolution to call for free tuition for Black students as a reparation for slavery. I first posted this video with other links regarding this particular story over at E.M. hopefully you'll check them out.

To start honestly my position on this issue isn't particularly clear. In some respects I'm opposed to reparations for the descendants of slaves. In other respects, reparations are a good thing if they prove to be beneficial towards those affected individuals.

On this blog over a decade ago I mentioned that historically Black colleges could be considered a reparation. Many of these schools - Howard, Morehouse & Spelman for example - were founded after the Civil War to educate the newly freed Black population of America. Many of these schools either founded by governments or by white missionaries.

My thing is reparations are OK if Black America could truly benefit from them. Not just a simple check for one person to do with as they please. I mean truly use any reparations to create new opportunities for a very disadvantaged portion of the American population.

Education is an issue for many Black people, I would dare say public education hasn't served many "minority" students very well. Perhaps reparations can create K-12 schools that would truly serve "minority" students and provide the education that are missing from public schools.

Perhaps building wealth and upgrading Black communities. Reparations to build up vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Reparations that would allow people to open up their businesses and hopefully succeed in their ventures.

Another possibility scholarships to get more Blacks into the desired STEM fields. And then why stop at STEM, perhaps encourage Blacks to go into fields where there aren't many of us. Perhaps into business or law or perhaps even go into higher education and pursue terminal degrees.

So many ideas with this, but what concerns me is the fact that the American taxpayer will pay the reparations to people who are no longer around who really deserve them. I'm certainly a few generations behind those individuals who were directly affected by slavery. No one in America today should pay for the sins of a different government over 150 years ago who allowed the owning of other human beings and their abuse.

I often tend to doubt that those who are proponents of reparations want to really benefit the community. Perhaps there are those who only want their cut of any money. At least we can continue to debate this issue and my hope is that the discussion will truly be about upgrading the future of Blacks in America.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tiny houses for the homeless

[VIDEO] The video I'm sharing with you was shown over at E.M. It showed one man's attempt at alleviating the homeless problem in Los Angeles. He calls them houses I call them sheds and these are structures which often are on the sidewalk or on a street. Well there isn't a private property to places these structures on.

Let me level with you, I have the absolute worst expectations of homeless people. My current job has odd hours that includes being on the CTA L in the early morning hours and often - especially during winter - the homeless are stretched out on the train sleeping. I don't like it, but how much resources are going to be dedicated towards keeping them off of CTA trains?

So this struggling musician you see here being interviewed, I support his own grassroots efforts to help the homeless of LA. For those who appreciate these small houses it gave them something. Problem is the city officials wanted to rebuff this solution to the point where the personal effects of these individuals were seized with these houses and no opportunity to collect them.

Last summer one part of my vacation was spent in this area known as Skid Row. I even have a picture of it and will show you below. I was at an Los Limousines bus station waiting to ride to Las Vegas. It was a patently unpleasant experience with the smell of urine in the air. On the other hand really sad to see so many people out on the streets in such a prosperous city as Los Angeles
What I will say regarding this issue is that if I could, my goal would be the provide resources so that we can provide these houses for homeless people in any city. Preferably on vacant lots not on streets and sidewalks. Hopefully we can provide those individuals with the services they need to improve their lot.

Monday, April 17, 2017

How much money have you saved?

Posted this earlier today and shared the wrong ig post from CNBC. My apologies, didn't catch onto this sooner.

I've been doing much better saving money over the last four years and hopefully I'll look much better over the next four years. At least you couldn't coun't me in the 35% with less than $1k in savings or the 34% who has ZERO.

It takes some discipline to put some money away at least every pay period. Then scrimp and scrape as you spend money. Though as far as spending I'm still learning. A never ending process.

Funny thing, I used to complain about how my mother didn't want to spend money on things. Now I've acquired some of those habits.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

#Cubs

I consider myself a casual sports fan, and yet it was great to see the Chicago Cubs win the World Series after 108 years. It was not something that was on the horizon for many Cubs fans and yet it happened. I didn't see this coming especially.

As a casual sports fan, I usually miss the start of any sports season. Hell, most of the season breezes by before I start to pay attention.

This baseball season was no different in spite of the Cubs being the defending champions. It really feels strange typing this. It did feel great to tweet this the night the North Siders won it all!
So between November 2nd to April 10th it's time for a championship banner raising. [VIDEO]

I am however very glad that the Cubs didn't take to this idea of utilizing world champs uniforms for the 2017 MLB season. It would've been very tacky even after 108 years. Even worse it's already difficult to repeat as world series champs, although here's hope it doesn't take another century for the Cubs to do it one more time and then some!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

War at Morehouse pt 2

Omar Bustamante/The Root
Morehouse Alumni Samuel L. Jackson - who's latest release is Kong: Skull Island, filmmaker Spike Lee, and former Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson have penned a letter. This letter is certainly critizing the action of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Board. Here's hoping someone is paying attention to this.
Here's a little background here.

And I missed this, more background.